Why we need to stop the data retention proposals

I’ve just had this article posted on the Index on Censorship site

..we need to stand up against the plans because even if the current proposals can be justified as a proportionate measure –– and remember that only details of sender and receiver are being stored, not the content of the messages themselves –– mission creep is inevitable.
Powers granted under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act which we were told were needed to investigate serious crime and catch terrorists have been used to determine whether parents are really living in the catchment area of a popular school, something that is not actually illegal under the act as passed.

Read the whole piece, and it’s worth looking at Mike Butcher’s rant too.

Who is responsible in our cloudy world?

[As ever, this is also on the BBC News website]

In the next few days [in fact it is now published] a number of large technology companies, including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo!, are going to announce that they have signed up to a voluntary code of conduct on how they do business in countries that curtail freedom of expression like China and Singapore.

The code has been drawn up by the Washington-based digital rights group The Center for Democracy & Technology and a non-profit in San Francisco, Business for Social Responsibility, and it is believed to address the terms of business companies should adhere too and also to call on them to try to ensure that suppliers and business partners also sign up. Continue reading “Who is responsible in our cloudy world?”

Show me your papers

I have a passport again, having lost my old one somewhere between Cambridge, Leicester and Corby on a trip last month.  The old one has been cancelled, so nobody pretending to be me will be leaving the country on it – and I suspect that it’s actually somewhere completely unexpected in the house and will turn up in a year or two.

But it meant I spent nearly a month without papers, or rather without the means to leave the country, and I hadn’t realised how much it disturbed me until the new documentation arrived.

Continue reading “Show me your papers”